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Video - Innovations concerning the autonomy of drones

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An indication of a booming sector, shows dedicated to civilian drones are on the increase. One, which has just taken place at Nantes (western France), was full of completed, or under development, technological innovations concerning the autonomy of civilian drones, which is their main weakness.

This ground based caterpillar-tracked drone, for example, was designed to work in tandem with a flying drone, and conduct missions without any human intervention over several days. Using geolocation, this mobile battery charger moves around at 20 mph (30 km/h), according to a preset programme, serving as an automatic platform for multi-rotor take-off and landing points.

This multirotor manufacturer also gave us a peak at their future energy supply system, which should allow most professional drones to have their autonomy increased to between one to two hours, as against today’s average of 15-30 minutes. It is, in fact, a flying recharging device. As Anne-Marie Haute, Executive Director of Pilgrim Technology, explained, it works via a small chip between the battery and the drone allowing it to recharge whilst in use, making it a solution adapted to multi-rotors.

Today, flying wings, like this one, offer the greatest autonomy, with long distance flights of over an hour. On this ‘plane-shaped model, which uses the same principle, the manufacturer has also added rotors giving it a vertical take-off and landing capability, making it as easy to use as a multi-rotor drone.

Almost non-existant five years ago, the sector promises  a technological battle all the more intense, given the exponential growth in the number of operators.

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